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Lavoisier's experiments ; (See Monthly Review, vol. L. Appendix, June, 1774. p. 544.) or Dr. Priestley's account of his trials made on water subjected to a very strong and long continued heat, in tubes hermetically sealed ; and which are contained in his late volume of Experiments and Observations, &c.
M. Lavoifier ascribes the earth which he procured by the distillation, or rather cohobation, of the purest distilled water, to the abrasion of the particles of the glass vessel containing it: as he found that the pelican which he employed had lost about as much of its weight, as was equal to that of the earth procured. The Author controverts this conclusion. He first questions the accuracy of the balance employed in this experiment. He does not think that M. Lavoisier used a sufficient degree of beat: [This objection, however, does not militate against the 'trials made by Di. Priestley; who is inclined to suspect that his processes were not continued a sufficient length of time) but his principal objection to M. Lavoisier's conclusion is, that the loss of weight observed in the pelican, at the end of the experiment, might, with equal probability, be ascribed to the action of the fire on its external surface, as to that of the water on its inner furface: properly observing, however, that a chemical examination of the earth procured in the process, and a comparison of it with the fubtle powder of glass, would best settle this point,
Having shewn that both air and earth owe their origin to water, he confiders all natural bodies as consisting only of three principles ;-the inflammable, the faline, and water : and then refolving the faline principle into the aqueous and the inflammable, he concludes, that the principles of all natural bodies are neither more or less than two;-earth-which is undoubtedly the principle so called by Moses,' [Gen, i. ver. 1.] and the matter of light, pure fire, celestial fire, and which is denominated calum by Mofes.' The Author endeavours to fhew, how the various bodies in nature may be formed out of these two principles, in consequence of their different modifications, or the varieties introduced by figure, greater or less cohefion, &c.: but he labours still more ftrenuously to fhew, that his system has the countenance of Mofes, in his history of the creation; where he supposes him not to have given a partial history of the creation of this earth, but of the whole visible universe. The pious Author accordingly expreffes the utmost anxiety, left his philosophical and chemical principles, or his deductions from them, fnould be found contrary to those of the sacred historian, and—- Maximum physicum, Mosen;'—who, we acknowledge, was undoubtedly skilled in all the learning of the Egyptians :- but how far that learning extended, with refpect to the philosophical part of the present inquiry, we can
not, at this distance of time, determine. With somewhat less impropriety, he endeavours to establish his system concerning the formation of mountains, the deluge, &c. on the history of those events, as secorded by the sacred writer.
In the preceding analysis, we have confined ourselves to matters of a general nature; as we cannot, within any reasonable compass, give even a short sketch only, of the particulars of the Author's system of the formation of the earth, and its subfequent changes: as these matters are so very complicated, and so intimately connected with the Author's particular principles relative to the elements of bodies. For these the inquisitive reader must sludy the work itself; from which we fall only select one particular object of the Author's investigation ; merely as being more easily detached from the relt.
This subject relates to the exuviæ of foreign animals, found in those parts of the earth where such animals
do not, or cannot poffibly, now live. On this point, the Author maintains an opinion, not indeed with respect to all the circumstances attending the phenomenon, fimilar to that of a late ingenious inquirer on this subject ti-viz, that they were indigenous, or lived in the very lame places, nearly, where they are now found ; that these places had originally a different temperature, or state of atmosphere from the present; for that the air was then, in every part of the globe, equally temperate, and propitious to animal life.
To the changes in the earth's surface, or rather in the temperature of the air, effected by the universal deluge, the Author ascribes likewise the great change produced, with respect to the age of man, immediately after that event. Some have ascribed the longevity of the Antediluvians to their temperate diet, and sober manner of living. The Author is far from adopting this idea, or even from being willing to allow that long life is to be obtained by temperance.- The holy scriptures,' says he,' intimate pretty plainly, that the antediluvians were very far from living by rule ;-[' Nil minus quam dietetice vixerunt') and that they were rather addicted, in the highest degree, to a life of pleasure and lasciviousness. We are taught by daily experience, that the most regular regimen of diet contributes very little to long life.'
+ See Mr. Wbiteburfi's Inquiry, &c. or Monibly Review, vol. lx. January 1979, pag. 37•
AR T. XIV.
Short Introduction to the Hiftory of the Writers on Mineralogy: with an Eslay on the propereft Method of forming a Mineralogical Sylem, together with a Supplement. By John Gatsch Wallerius, Profeffor of Chemiftry, &c. 8vo. 6 s." fewed. Upsal, &c. 1779. Imported by T. Lowndes.
HE greater part of this useful publication was compiled,
and published about ten years ago, by the Author of the preceding performance, under the title of Lucubrationum Academicarum Specimen primum. He has changed the title of the work, because he thought proper to digest the materials intended for the promised continuation of it, into the form in which they appear in the performance, which is the subject of the preceding article.
The work itself is what the French would call a Catalogue Raisonnée, of the various fystems of mineralogy, from the time of Aristotle down to the present; digested in chronological order. In this compilation, the Author not only gives the titles of the various publications respecting this science; but likewise a regular abstract of the different classifications of mineral substances, invented or adopted by each writer respectiveJy; together with his own occasional observations on the particular method, or fyftem, of each of them. His great reputation, as a fyftematical writer in this branch of knowledge, renders it unneceffary for us to enlarge on the utility of this mineralogical Compendium to those who are engaged in the study of foffils. To those who are more conversant in that science, it must be agreeable to see here, as it were at one view, the gradual efforts made by human ingenuity, to clear up the immense chaos which the earth contains within its bofom ; by discriminating between the numerous subjects of the mineral kingdom, and reducing them into order.-In giving a few short fpecimens of this performance, we fhall confine ourselves to the mineralo. gical writers of our own times.
" $ 58. Joh. Hili, Anglus. A General Natural Hiftory of Fosils. London. 1748.” After giving, as a specimen of this work, the Author's claffification of earths and stones; he observes, that his method is that of Scheufchzer and Woodward, somewhat amended; and then characterises it as MIRIFICIS nominibus potius ONUSTAM quam ornatam.'
§ 68. Forsok til Mineralogie, &c. An Effay towards a System of Mineralogy; by the Noble Axel Frederic Cronstedt, Stockholm. 1758 *.
• This excellent work has been translated into English, and was published by E. Mendes Da Cotta, in 1770. See Monthly Review, Vol. xlii. April 177).
After giving this noble Writer on mineralogy, the titles of the most skilful mineralogist and metallurgill, and of an indefatigable observer and experimentalist; and after reciting the particulars of his method of classifying mineral substances, he thus characterises his work:
« On this performance we may pronounce the same judgment that was passed formerly by Stahl, on the Physica jubterranea of Becher: that it is “
opus sine pari.” The Author did not found his method on the reasonings of others; but on his own observations, deduced from experiments made with indefatigable labour: although he acknowledges, that the foundations of it, with respect to earths and stones, were laid by Pott, in his Lithog. We cannot however deny, that this system is too sublime and obscure, and that it is not exempt from ble. mishes: but it is to be observed, that it was not formed for the use of those who attend too much to the external appearance or figure of follil bodies ; but for the advantage of metallurgists, who are too frequently imposed upon by the r attention to these exterior characteristics. The Author himself acknowledged the imperfections of his work, and accordingly conccaled his name; well knowing that, in this life, perfection is not attainable by man.'
In the last of the two fections, into which this work is divided, the Author treats of the proper method of forming systems of mineralogy. The fyftematical writers on mineralogy may, themselves, be distributed into thice cialis. The first of these consists of those who have formed their systems merely on external appearances; such as the structure, figure, colour, pellucidity, and other fensible and obvious qualities of mineral fubstances. This has been called the artificicl, and still more properly, superficial, method. Others, with much more propriety attending to things rather than appearances, have formed their method of classing fossils, on the interior compofition, or true nature of mineral bodies, as discovered by chemistry, cording to this method, which may juftly be called 'natural, chalk or calcareous earth, and marble, notwithitanding their different appearance, come under the same class, as being of the same nature, and differing only with respect to external accidents or circumstances. In establishing this method, Cronstedt deserves all, and more than all, the praise which the Author has above bestowed upon him. The third and last method may be called mized, and is that which has been adopted by the Author, in his own Syftema Mineralogicum, printed in 1772 and 1775. This consists in employing born the extrintical and intrinsical methods, where that can be done, in determining the characters of the genera and orders: or in determining the genera and orders by the intrinsic qualitics, or true nature, Rev. Feb. 1780.
of the subjects; and the species, by the extrinsical criteria.-On this subject the Reader will meet with many judicious observations, made by a person well versed in the subject on which he treats.
1 Ο Ν Τ Η LY CATALOGUE,
For FEBRUARY, 1780.
AFFAIRS OF IRELAND. Art. 15. The Commercial Refraints of Ireland considered. In a
series of Letters to a noble Lord. Containing an Historical Account of the Affairs of that Kingdom, so far as they relate to this Subject. 8vo. 35. fewed. Longman. 1780. UBJECTS of chis nature may be surveyed in two different
lights, according to the medium through which they are viewed. The citizen of the world, who argues liberally from the general rights of all mankind, will totally reprobate the sovereign controul exercised by any one nation over another. The patriot, who, on comparison with the other, is a narrow-minded man, who confines his views to the welfare and prosperity of the inhabitants of a particular foil; and to which all the influence they can acquire over others, is to be rendered subservient; be will stretch the arm of power as far as it will extend, over all foreign dependencies, in every respect likely to weaken the sovereignty claimed, or to interfere with the particular interests of the over-ruling tate.
The former is indeed a visionary, a man of mere speculation, to whom no goverment will or can listen ; because, as the barriers of nature and human insticutions have determined mankind to unite in distinct communities, separate and interfering in interests; all hiftory will evince, that power can only be ftemmed by power. The latter, then, is the man of the world; whose principles only, being adapted to actual circumstances around us, can be carried into execution : and we find in nacional contentions, that after all argument is exhausted, power is the ultima ratio.
There are however different degrees of patriotism. It may fometimes centre in a fingle town, and wish to monopolize those advantages, which a mind fomewhat more enlarged would willingly communicate to all wiihin a particular province; a third fill more liberal, may include all England in his benevolent intentions, but with a moit bitter antipathy to Scotland : a fourth may kindly take Scot. land in, to comprehend the whole istand. A fifth may incline, from convenience and good neighbourhood, to view Great Britain and Ireland with an equal eye, deem their mutual interests inseparable ; and think this natural union capable of withitanding the ambitious schemes of all our envious neighbours. How much farther, an experience of human nature, and a survey of pational circumstances over the face of the globe, will jullify an extension of political liberality, may be left as an exercise for the ingenuity of political leisure. In such diffufive schemes of legislative benevolence, howcves, a caution ought to be observed, against reasoning on the transactions of nations toward cach other, from those of individuals ; 6